Recent events in my life have really made me start to think about the world around me, about how we end up in one place or another in our lives, or how we meet people seemingly out of no where. Is it possible that fate controls every decision, move, and outcome of our life? If it is, some events can be traced back to childhood, or even before you were born. Does karma truly exist? If so, then why do bad people often times have amazing lives? And what of Free Will?
Free will, that’s something I struggle with. I don’t believe fate controls our reality, but sometimes you have to take a step back and question why something happened when there was no reason for it to, such as ducking to pick something up right before the golf ball flies over your head or getting that “feeling” that you need to be somewhere, only to find out that was exactly where you had to be at that exact time. No, I believe free will governs most of our world, but there is something to these mysterious occurrences.
After recent events, I questioned this more than ever. I started to blame fate on my problems, saying to myself that fate led me to my current situation, to meeting the people I currently associate with today, causing me to cursed and yelled at fate, wishing it would just go away.
Once I calmed down and took a step back, I began to think of what exactly that would mean. I came to the conclusion that if fate truly lead me to the situation I currently find myself in, it would have had to start when I was just a child, and I cannot accept that my choices do not matter. I cannot accept the idea that in order to have met these people I had to have worked for a year in a school in East Palo Alto and proven myself, a job which I randomly found on CraigsList after applying for hundreds of other jobs.
But it doesn’t stop there, the only reason I was looking for a job still at that point is because the job I got before that had given me an interest in education. Then again I wouldn’t have even qualified for either job if I hadn’t graduated when I did with an English degree. I only went for my English degree after 4 other colleges and 3 major changes, of which I failed many classes and felt unsatisfied with.
Even then, it goes back further to why I finally ended on an English major, my love for writing that first showed itself before I could even write a single word when I was only telling stories to my parents.
So in order for Fate to have decided to put me in the position I’m currently in with the people who are currently part of it, fate would have had to decide that before I could write, before I knew I was interested in storytelling, writing, English, or education.
But maybe that’s the easy answer, maybe saying that fate controls us and that the bad things that are currently going on in my life are fates fault and that there was nothing I could have done about it since the moment I was born.
If it’s not fate, then did I do something wrong? Did I hurt someone or say something or do something that pushed karma onto me? (quick side rant, I hate using the word karma here, but it’s the most common term for this. The word Karma originates in India and actually just means to be selfless, to do good deeds just because. The version of karma that is popular in America, and that I use here, refers to the fact if you do bad things, bad things will happen to you and vice versa. Okay, rant over.)
I have struggled with the idea of karma much more personally than fate. I can also understand karma because it is basically a balance, cause and effect if you will. You put negative energy into the world, you get negative energy back. You put positive energy into the world, you get that back. If I hurt someone, I will be hurt. It’s simple and even somewhat elegant.
My only question is what constitutes as negative energy and who decides that? If I put my happiness over someone else’s, but they get hurt in the process, is that negative energy? Or, on the opposite side, what if I do something that makes someone else feel good, but I sacrifice my own happiness? In both of these cases, one person is happy and the other is not, is that not balance in itself? So I question karma. I do more good than bad, yet bad things do happen to me, so if karma was about balance, I’m missing something.
That is why I always lean toward freewill, or at least a combination of freewill and fate. As much as I would like to post the blame on something other than my own decisions, there is no connection (besides the obvious) between me loving storytelling, becoming an educator, and meeting the people I currently know. Any one of the decisions that lead me here could have been different and I could have been in a very different place, never meeting them or living this life.
So where does that leave me with my current problems? Well, about the same place I started, no where. There is no answer to whether fate, karma, or freewill exist, nor is there an answer to why things happen the way they do. We just go through life, making the best of the things that do happen, and then move on to the next.
What do you think about fate, karma, and freewill? Do you firmly believe in one or the other, or are you as confused as me? Let me know in the comments below!